Hand motor learning in a musical context and prefrontal cortex hemodynamic response: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study
Due to movement automatization, the engagement of high-order cognitive processing during the motor execution of a task is expected to decrease over repetitions and practice. In this study, we assessed single session changes in the prefrontal hemodynamic signals in response to training a piano chord progression in an ecological experimental setting. We acquired functional near-infrared spectroscopy signals from 15 subjects without any previous experience on playing keyboard instruments. Our findings were that oxygenated hemoglobin changes at orbitofrontal cortex followed an inverted U-shaped curve over task execution, while the subjects’ performance presented a steady slope. These results suggest an initial executive function engagement followed by facilitation of motor execution over time.
KeywordsfNIRS Learning Cognitive control Piano Motor execution Prefrontal cortex Hemodynamics
The authors are grateful to Jackson Cionek (BrainLatam) and NIRx for technological support. R.A.H. received a scholarship of PIBIC-CNPq (Brazil). J.R.S. is supported by grants FAPESP (Sao Paulo Research Foundation, Brazil) 2018/04654-9 and 2018/21934-5.
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